You do not need any permits to grow yabbies for your family and yourself, however, if you want to sell yabbies then you will need an aquaculture permit from your states Fisheries Department.Yabbies grow well in farm dams and some commercial aquaculture operations are extensive farm dam harvest operations where yabbies are just trapped from farmer’s dams.
Generally most commercial farms are located on rural properties in specially designed yabby ponds. Commercial yabby farms consist of large numbers of shallow ponds designed specifically for the yabbies. This maximizes the growth and numbers of yabbies that the pond produces. It also allows for easy management and less costs in construction and ongoing maintenance. Commercial farming is generally conducted either as extensive, semi intensive or intensive farming.
Extensive is where the yabbies basically fend for themselves with little in the way of management or food added. The yabbies just live and breed in the pond and the farmer just catches them out with traps. Production is low to medium and all production is based on pond surface area. A hectare is 10,000 square metres in size and it is hectares that commercial farmers use to talk production. For example a pond that is 20m x 50m is 1000m² so is one tenth of a hectare. Good production by extensive methods is 800kgs of yabbies per hectare. Therefore a 20m x 50m pond can produce 80kgs of yabbies per year. There are less rules and regulations involved with extensive farming as it involves natural populations and natural food. This type of aquaculture requires a Class C aquaculture permit from NSW Fisheries.
Semi Intensive Farming
Intensive yabby farming is where a greater level of management is used to produce larger numbers of yabbies. This involves stocking ponds at optimal levels, feeding and protecting the crop and using good genetic stock. This type farming will produce higher levels of crayfish at up to 2500kgs per hectare per year but at a lot higher cost in food and labour, etc. Yabby farming is something that you can do at your pace and at your level of input so very attractive to most people. To increase the production to semi intensive levels requires daily feeding of your crop. This means that you are adding nutrients to water and growing your yabbies at higher densities than would occur naturally. This means that more rules and regulations will apply to this type of farming. This type of farming requires a Class D aquaculture permit from NSW Fisheries
Intensive yabby farming is generally in the experimental stage. This is where very high numbers or yabbies are grown in small spaces. There are various methods for intensive yabby farming and all require intensive management with regular feeding and water quality management. This type of farming also requires a Class D aquaculture permit from NSW Fisheries.
Water availability, land, soil type and location are important factors to be considered whe farming yabbies, with the average commercially viable pond requiring 1-2 megalitres of water. Dam Stock Yabbies Yabby Dabba Doo supplies dam stock sized yabbies. Dam stock yabbies are generally 60-100mm long and big enough to breed at the time they are added to your dam.
Believe it or not, research has shown that when yabbies larger than this are added to a dam, a large majority of them will try to make their ay back to where they were born. While you only need 1 male and 1 female yabby, the chance of them meeting up again when added to your dam is mimimal. Recommended initial stocking of a dam is with 100 - 200 critters. This caters for dams up to 50m x 30m.
Yabbies are dispatched to you in specialty packaging and can survive up to 60 hours in transit.
Dams / Ponds Yabbies do not require deep water. Our commercial ponds are 1.5m - 1.8m at the deepest end. In dams deeper than this, yabbies will tend to congregate in the shallower water. Generally material washed into dams (vegetation, sheep cow manure etc) is a sufficient food source, however if adding yabbies to a newly dug dam, it is recommended that a base food source like old hay be added, either broken up and spread around on dam floor, or by staking small bales to the dam floor. Lime Yabbies require a continual source of calcium for growth and for maintaining a strong shell. Soft shelled yabbies make them vulnerable to predators and other yabbies. Agricultural lime (not builders lime or hydrated lime) is an ideal calcium source. A yearly application of ag lime applied to the sides of the dam (allowing it to be gradually washed in by rain) will ensure an adequate calcium is available for growth, generally 20kg per 50m x 40m dam. Yabby Dabba Doo provide consulting services (your farm or ours) for farmers or individuals considering taking up yabby farming for profit or as a hobby.
You do not need any
permits to grow yabbies
for your family